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The Nothing Phone 1 is probably one of the most unique phones this year that you can’t get in the US thanks to its transparent back. It’s also a phone that doesn’t have a lot of baggage when it comes to software, sporting a beautiful interface close to stock Android that doesn’t add much unnecessary bloat, though it’s still based on Android 12 to this date. The company already launched a closed beta program for Android 13 in late November, and today, Nothing has announced an open beta for Nothing OS 1.5.

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True to its restricted approach to Android 12, Nothing’s Android 13 doesn’t offer too many new features of its own, which is a good thing. After all, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. The company says that it managed to increase app loading speed by up to 50% and that it increased available background memory. There is also a new self-repair feature that’s supposed to clear unused cache and expired system dumps. Both volume control and the quick settings toggles in the notification shade are in for a small redesign. The lights on the back of the phone can be controlled with a new UI, too.

The company additionally offers a new weather app, which is custom designed for the Phone 1. Before then, the company only offered a widget that would forward you to a website from a weather forecast provider.

Apart from Nothing’s tweaks, Android 13 offers quite a few intriguing features. Notifications are opt-in for apps you newly install on the system, meaning that you can stop applications from pestering you with annoying and irrelevant advertisements before they can even reach you. It’s also possible to set different languages on a per-app basis, which is handy for multilingual folks. Finally, the operating system offers support for more Material You theming options and accordingly themed app icons.

In an interview with Android Authority, why it is taking the company so long to launch Android 13. In it, the CEO admits that the OS was still "a bit rough" when it first launched in summer and had to work hard on optimizing the software post-launch. For Android 13, the biggest challenge is that the company is swapping out third-party code from an outsourced OEM partner for first-party software, which might not mean visual differences, but a lot of work for engineers.

You can sign up for the beta by . When you're accepted, you will be able to download the Android 13 beta over the next few days via the usual route under Settings -> System -> System Update. The stable version of Nothing OS 1.5 will launch in early 2023 for everyone.

UPDATE: 2022/12/15 11:12 EST BY MANUEL VONAU

US beta

If you're one of the lucky few who managed to get a Nothing Phone 1 in the US, Nothing founder Carl Pei has good news for you. The beta will also open for a limited number of people in the US as Nothing prepares launching its first phone in the country.